Legal Separation Lawyer
There are a variety a reasons a couple may choose a legal separation over a divorce including religious beliefs, children, tax and insurance benefits. In some cases, couples will legally separate while going through a difficult time in their relationship but are still attempting to work through their problems.
While not seen as permanent as divorce, the legal separation process is very similar in court. In a legal separation, the family court system must approve the division of any marital assets and how any child custody, visitation, and support will be resolved as well as spousal support.
Our family law team has helped clients just like you understand the legal separation process. If you would like to learn more about how we can provide you with expert legal advice and representation, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation today.
How to File for Legal Separation in California
Hiring a lawyer who is experienced in legal separation early in the process can help minimize some of the stressors that can arise during the proceedings. Our attorneys will work tirelessly and vigorously for you to help limit the stress, anxiety, and financial difficulties which can commonly be found with separation cases.
While separation cases can vary dependent on where they are filed and the specific issues and details, there are four common steps to get started:
- The first step in filing for legal separation in California is filling out and filing Form FL-100, (also known as Petition – Marriage/Domestic Partnership) and Form FL-110, (Family Law Summons) with the local Family Court Clerk’s Office.
- The forms must then be served to your spouse either by personal service or by mail with a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt.
- After the papers are served a Form FL-115 (Proof of Service of Summons) must be filed with the County Clerk’s Office.
- The fourth step is to fill out and serve the financial disclosure forms. The next steps can vary depending on if you and your spouse have already agreed to the terms of the separation, or if there are issues being contested including child custody, child support, division of assets, as well as other factors.
Proven Legal Separation Process
Step One: Free Initial Consultation
We understand that going through a separation can be one of the most personal and emotional situations you will ever experience. Our free initial one-hour consultation allows you to get to know our law firm, attorneys, and the legal process. We take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions.
Step Two: Establish Goals and Method
From the very beginning, you meet with Attorneys Kimberly Lewellen or Michael Strebe, who will work directly with you every step of the way. They will work with you to understand your unique situation and circumstances and establish your goals and what legal tools to use to best achieve them.
Step Three: Prepare A Legal Strategy
Once we understand all the issues involved with your case, we can establish what type of legal strategies are available for you and begin to gather all the documents the California Family Courts require. These can include either the initial divorce filing or response if you were served.
Step Four: We Aggressively Represent You in Court
While not every separation case requires going to court, many do. Should your case go to court, you can have peace of mind that you are being represented by an attorney with years of experience negotiating, arguing for, and attaining results that are in the best interest of our clients and their families.
Additional Family Law Services We Provide
- Child custody
- Child support
- Domestic violence restraining orders
- Division of property
- International or out-of-state removal of minor children
Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Separation
Why would you get a legal separation instead of a divorce?
- Want to separate some of their legal responsibilities while working on the relationship
- Religious beliefs
- Tax benefits
- Health insurance benefits